Pilot still wanted in drug case
Over a week after approximately two dozen marijuana plants were found in the Truckee home of a commercial airline pilot, the suspect had yet to turn himself in to authorities as of Wednesday.
Aaron White, 30, a pilot for SkyWest Airlines, is a suspect in a small marijuana cultivation operation in the Tahoe Donner home that he had been renting for only three weeks, according to police.
“I would assume he’s going to turn himself in,” said Commander Scott Berry of the Truckee Police Department.
White’s roommate, Christopher Peterson, has already been charged with felony marijuana cultivation.
Although authorities do not know where White is, they do believe he is currently out of the state.
Despite being away from Truckee, he has been in contact with his employer every day since he was named as a suspect.
“He’s not running from us,” said SkyWest Spokesman Philip Gee. “He’s not in Mexico or Canada.”
SkyWest is currently conducting its own investigation into the matter and will take appropriate action once that investigation is complete.
“He will not fly until the process is complete,” Gee said of the suspended pilot.
Gee said the airline conducts pre-employment drug testing as well as random drug testing.
White was named as a suspect in growing marijuana Sept. 30 after a town building inspector and the owner of the home entered a newly-built garage to make sure everything was up to town building standards.
Eight or nine three-foot tall marijuana plants were found in the garage and, after police obtained a search warrant, found another eight or nine plants in the residence.
The hydroponic growing operation, using water instead of dirt, included lights and carbon dioxide dispensers.
Despite all the equipment, authorities said they believe the marijuana was intended for personal use, not for sale.
According to reports, police also found a urine testing device, photos of growing marijuana in a photo album, marijuana growing handbooks and receipts for marijuana growing equipment.